ABM – Marketing Analytics Led Demand Generation Engine

ABM – Marketing Analytics Led Demand Generation Engine

Over the past few years, Account Based Marketing (ABM) has emerged to be one of the key components of demand generation strategies across all marketing organizations and it has been delivering tremendous results especially for growth marketing teams that are leading the charge for revenue marketing. The importance of ABM in 2020 continues to grow and it has become a more mainstream tactic for B2B marketing.

The underlying theme that separates ABM from traditional demand generation and has been responsible for its unprecedented success is the focus on the “hyper-personalized” demand generation strategy.

Executing a successful ABM strategy is easier said than done given the natural tendency across marketing to lean towards the “spray and pray” approach to drive the so-called leads and MQL volume. As all marketers would agree, ABM is all about focusing on a critical few rather than trivial many.

Entering into 2020, there is about 92% probability that each marketing organization has an ABM program in place or is in the process of implementing one. The data scientist in me wanted to cite this metric! While the existence of an ABM strategy is a good indicator of the degree of alignment between sales and marketing in any organization but at the same time,

ABM is one of the most complex and data-driven marketing strategies to successfully implement. It is a strategic demand generation tactic whose success is dependent on excellence in operational execution and marketing analytics.

In the world full of marketing technology first enthusiasts, we continue to be strong advocates of letting the marketing strategy drive the martech strategy. This could not be more true for ABM execution. At marqeu, across all our ABM engagements, we see that marketing analytics continues to be the competitive advantage that continuously powers the success and optimization of ABM strategies.

A successful ABM strategy requires creative data-driven enhancements in regular marketing operations and demand generation frameworks.

A true ABM execution is like setting up a parallel demand generation engine within the marketing organization.

While the rhetoric is that a marketing organization needs new tools and platforms to launch the ABM strategy but we have seen that most of the modern marketing organizations already have the tools and technologies in place to launch a successful ABM strategy. The success of ABM is all about bringing together these diverse tactics and tools to operate in resonance and power the ABM demand generation engine.

We see that the combination of these 4 highly cross-linked tactics is required for a successful ABM strategy.

Account Planning: is the foundation of the ABM strategy. This is where a solid sales and marketing alignment comes into play. Let’s be honest, there is no platform, framework, “best practices” consulting that can foster sales & marketing alignment within any organization. The onus of building this relationship is on the marketing and sales leadership. But when it comes to ABM strategy, marketing should be fully armed with the insights about ABM accounts to lay a solid foundation of ABM the strategy. Account-level insights powered by Marketing analytics are critical here. These include:

    • List of the companies/target accounts based on account scoring algorithms
    • Analysis of recent wins across sales segments and gets
    • Analysis of deal cycles & buyers journey
    • Analysis of the product portfolio and white spacing accounts/persona at the account level

Data and Insights: database insights is by far the most critical element of a successful ABM strategy as it spans across the planning, execution and optimization cycles of ABM campaigns. Specifically, it includes:

    • Predictive Analytics: there is a wealth of information available within the existing sales and marketing platforms and it can be utilized to predict the next best action or engagement tactic based on the historic engagement and behavior of similar accounts and persona. These insights power the content strategy for a personalized experience.
    • Lead Scoring: demographic and behavioral scoring could be augmented to take into account extra scoring points for the ABM campaigns and intent data for ABM accounts.
    • Data Enrichment: provides more data about individuals and accounts and persona that power the content and engagement strategy. It also helps with providing the sales and telemarketing teams with insights for impactful conversations.
    • Data Validation: it is a known thing that data is always changing and we need to make sure that we have the up to date information about our target accounts and the personas. The success rate of any campaign (whether ABM or not) is dependent on the data quality.

Account Based Marketing marqeuProcess automation: drive efficiencies across ABM operations and enable unified execution for better results. Process automation and optimization is an ongoing activity in marketing operations but 2 key automation is critical for ABM execution.

  • Leads to Accounts Mapping: Even in organizations using modern CRM and Marketing Automation platforms, there is still one big challenge – data resides in different silos. Marketing owns leads and sales own accounts and contacts. ABM is dependent on providing a unified view of each account across platforms, teams and this is where leads to accounts mapping is critical not only for sales follow-up but also for unified marketing execution.
  • Lead Routing: dedicated routing rules are needed to make sure that account owners get notified on time whenever someone from the ABM accounts raises hands. Contextual alert triggers and notifications for the account owners notify them about the engagement with the ABM assets and with dedicated ABM outbound campaigns.

Reporting and Analytics: The most common ask from the marketing leaders these days is to demonstrate the quantifiable impact and ROI their organizations are making on the pipeline. Given the growing investments across ABM programs, the asks for returns from the marketing spend, the

marketing performance insights not only empower marketing leaders to have data-driven conversations with the c-suite, inspire/reward their teams based on performance but also optimize the execution of their ABM strategies.

Every marketing organization has a set of “Strategic Metrics” (with different definitions, unique to how a company operates) that it tracks to measure performance and optimize execution. ABM performance measurement usually goes beyond metrics that marketing organizations track to demonstrate the performance of demand generation programs. “Account Level Engagement” metrics are the most critical metrics that power ABM analytics. They add the “additional lens to provide a 360-degree view of accounts” across all the metrics to provide a unified view of performance at the account level instead of at the individual level. These account-level metrics include:

  • A unified view of all individuals (leads and contacts) from ABM accounts who engaged with ABM campaigns in a given time frame.
  • A view of open opportunities with account dimensions across all ABM accounts.
  • Account-level engagement with the marketing campaigns and website assets focused on ABM.
  • Account coverage/penetration in terms of contacts by persona.
  • Performance of ABM campaigns and ROI on marketing campaigns.
  • Engagement of ABM accounts (before and after launching the ABM strategy).

In our view, from the execution perspective,

ABM is all about putting together an action plan for operationalizing a framework to bring these 4 data powered tactics together and operating in resonance.

Having designed, built and successfully executed ABM strategies in some of the most complex B2B marketing organizations, we have accumulated a wealth of first-hand experience at implementing successful ABM strategies and we could not be more proud of this accomplishment.

At marqeu, we strongly believe in the game-changing ability of marketing analytics especially for the success of ABM. This belief only gets stronger every day as we are

working with our customers to help shape and implement their ABM strategy, which is increasingly driving the success of their marketing strategy now.

Modern marketing is complex. The number of ways in which different organizations successfully plan and execute ABM strategy amazes us and that is the best part. We are always on the lookout for inputs and examples from the marketing and sales communities to keep adding value for our customers. We welcome the inputs from other leaders and practitioners around how they are designing and executing ABM strategy at their organizations, what are the key objectives of their execution strategy and how they are leveraging marketing analytics to drive the success of their ABM campaigns.

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